Highlights of Cebu

My friend Cate helping me make a healing meditation mandala on the beach one early morning

“No man needs a vacation so much as the man who has just had one.”
~ Elbert Hubbard

 

I’ve been in Cebu the past several days, attending a wonderful conference for entrepreneurs. (Thank you, Chris Ducker!) While I’ve been here I have also made healing mandalas for my morning meditation each day, I have swum with tropical fish, I have networked and brainstormed and expanded my possibilities, I have enjoyed massages, and planned the next stage of my business, I have discovered useful information for my coaching clients, I have hugged many friends, I have done more psychic readings in a few days of downtime than I ever thought possible, I have danced and sung and partied and even partaken of a very few, very good alcoholic beverages – a rarity for me.

I am now busy packing before I fly out to Manila, so I will offer a few photos as evidence that a good time has been had, and that I really did manage to make it through with flying colours instead of collapsing in a heap at the end of it all.

I’ll write more tomorrow, after I’ve hugged my husband and caught up on some sleep.

Missing you all heaps, Nicole ❤ xoxo

 

The amazing Peter Shankman, presenting my favourite quote of the event; ‘Let me give you some advice, bastard. Never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor, and it can never be used against you.’ ~ Tyrion Lannister, George R Martin.

Psychic readings by the pool. Can’t complain about my working conditions. In between each session I would have a quick dip and then a cool drink. Just lovely!!!

Boat rides, swimming with tropical fishies and spectacular sunsets…

Getting ready for our White Party on the beach.

And partying at the White Party with my friends.

I had the biggest smile all night. So much fun. So many happy memories made.

I  must say that it’s wonderful to be well enough to be posting things like this. Dreams do come true. Prayers do get answered. The wheel turns. If it can for me, it can for you too!

(PS – Yes, you may have spotted it. The rogue unicorn that photobombed me. It was that kind of a night…)

Like Cinderella I was home just before the clock struck midnight, and I took a selfie for my Mum to prove that I was still in good shape after all that frivolity – just a little hot from dancing. Cebu certainly puts the ‘hot’ in tropical. Here you go, Mum!

Best. Time. Ever. 😀

 

Unexpected Gifts – Nurse Bert!

Kerry Warnholtz

The talented Kerry Warnholtz, on a recent photo and video shoot at our farm.

“Acts of Kindness:
A random act of kindness, no matter how small, can make a tremendous impact on someone else’s life.”
~ Roy T. Bennett

 

It’s been a hard few weeks, with the loss of our precious dog Bert.

It’s also been rough because I am still fighting the antibiotic-resistant bacterial infection that I picked up in hospital last year. It’s manifested as a persistent urinary tract infection that has made my life quite miserable. Right now I’m on aggressive treatment, which is working, but which also involves regular IV therapy, acupuncture and lots of herbs and essential oils.

So you can imagine that I have been feeling a little glum…

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Ben and Harry and I have been greatly buoyed by all of your kind comments and love, and the outpouring of stories you’ve shared with us of your own pets and loved ones.

Thank you. ❤

It has made a tough time more bearable.

I also received two other gifts on Wednesday which have overwhelmed us with their kindness.

The first was a little book, made by my thoughtful friend Monique Sinclaire. Inside were a collection of pictures of Bert which she must have found online. In an act of deep synchronicity the photo at the beginning and end of the book were the same ones I chose for the beginning and end of Wednesday’s blog about Bert’s passing. Thank you, Monique. We’ll treasure this!

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The other was a short video, made by the ever-kind Kerry Warnholtz. Kerry is an incredibly gifted and heart-centered photographer and videographer. Last year Kerry spent a week at our farm and one of my retreats to shoot footage for a short documentary for me. The aim of the documentary was to capture the work and care we put into preparing for and running our retreats.

I’ll show you the results soon. It’s wonderful!

Of course Kerry shot oodles of footage. Of everything. And somewhere in all of that she had the sweetest piece of video, of Ben, me and Nurse Bert, in the back yard at the end of the day, as we all enjoyed a cup of tea and the leftover treats from our photo shoot. (A big shout out to Jessie and Andrew from Home Amongst The Green, whose delicious treats feature on the plate that Bert can’t take his eyes off!)

It was such a glorious and unexpected wonder, to look at our beautiful boy once more, being his irrepressible food-oriented self. Watch his eyes, which tell you quite repeatedly that he would like a treat please!

Thank you, Kerry. It made us laugh and cry, and all of that is good medicine.

If you’re ever looking for someone to capture the heart and soul of your family or business in images, look no further than Kerry. I can’t recommend her highly enough. You can find her at Truth Seeker Images Multimedia.

And here he is, Nurse Bert, one more time…

Standing Under Old Trees

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“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”
―~ Rachel Carson

 

This morning, after a restless night, I slept late.

Instead of sitting in meditation, Harry Dog and I went for a long rambling walk.

We said hello to the cows.

We saw the old tree that cracked in half and fell over late last night.

We saw where the echidna has been digging, and where a new bush orchid has taken root, cradled in a hollow of a big old tree.

We walked and walked.

And when we came back to the house again we were happy.

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Christmas Gift Oracle For You!

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“May Peace be your gift at Christmas and your blessing all year through!”   ~ Author Unknown

 

Will you join me for a cup of tea so I can give you a little Christmas present?

Here’s the tea. Come sit with me and let me tell you how glad I am to have you in my life. I’m so grateful to have you as part of our community as we share this journey of life together. Thank you!

A cup of tea for us, under the Jacaranda tree here at my farm!

A cup of tea and some tasty treats for us, under the Jacaranda tree here at my farm!

Every so often I like to create an oracle for you. The very first one I ever posted was The Healing Power of Flowers and Fairy Blessings.  We offered a selection of flowers for you to choose from, and each flower came with a message – a mini-reading if you will. It was so well received that I’ve been creating oracles for you ever since.

Today I’m so pleased to offer you another of my Magical Oracles! This time, I’d like you to choose the Christmas Gift that appeals to you the most. Then take your time to unwrap it and receive its message and blessings for you.

Instructions for using today’s post

Scroll down through the following Christmas Gift images and then let yourself come back to the one you are most drawn to.

When you have chosen your gift, scroll further down for your oracle message. Trust that what you most need to know is exactly what you shall choose.

Wherever you are, and whatever your faith and beliefs, I wish you peace today and the days ahead, and joy in your heart. Know that you are loved. Know that you’re in my daily prayers and meditations. You matter to me. I intend only the best for you, and that 2017 be a year that is richly satisfying and filled with love and kindness.

Love and Light,

Nicole ♥ xx

 

Let the Christmas Blessings Begin…

1. Rustic Star Gift

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2. Bag of Treats Gift

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3. ♥ Retro Red and Gold Gift

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4.  Cute Snow Elves Gift

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5. Sweet Somethings Gift

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6.  Precious Hearts Gift

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7.  Simple Red Wrapping Gift

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8. Golden Gift

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♥ Your Gift’s Message ♥

Each Christmas Gift has a message for you for the year ahead. I have also selected a crystal to best support the message and energies of your chosen gift.  You could wear or hold this crystal, pop it in your pocket, under your pillow or beside your bed. (If you’d like to know more about working with crystals click here) The Power Word is a word to remind yourself of the quality you most need and that you are strongly attracting right now.  You can turn it into your own personal mantra by saying “I choose ___________ ” (insert your Power Word). Your Magical Healing Environment is a place or activity you’ll find supportive and healing.

1. Rustic Star Gift  The Rustic Star Gift heralds a return to health and well-being for you in 2017. You’ll be able to tune in to the wisdom of your body, and will naturally begin to prefer the foods, exercise and other support that best suits your individual needs. You’ll find the right practitioners and advice, and feel a resurgence in energy and mental clarity over the months ahead. You’ll become stronger and comfortable within your own skin. This newfound health will become the foundation for so many other breakthroughs and advances in your life.  Best Crystal – BLOODSTONE   Power Word – VITALITY  ♥ Magical Healing Environment – Fresh Air to fill your lungs, to energise you with the sun and healing vibrations of the natural environment, and to get blood pumping through your body as you move around. Resting and meditating in nature is fabulous for you too!

2. Bag of Treats Gift This is a year rich in blessings for you.  After years of hard work, self work and every other kind of work, via winding paths and difficult terrain, 2017 is going to open out in front of you like a long straight highway. A year of abundance, love, prosperity and peace. Problems drop away. Struggle drops away. A foundational year of greatness, based upon self-awareness and humility as you shine your light and share your gifts. ♥ Best Crystal – CLEAR QUARTZ ♥ Power Word – ABUNDANCE  Magical Healing Environment – Time on your own. Time with Uplifting Others. Time on your own to meditate, to create, to connect, to plan, to journal, to dream, to learn, to rest, to integrate, to grow. Time with mentors, teachers and successful, positive peers. Small amounts often of both will work best for you in 2017.

3. ♥ Retro Red and Gold Gift  This year gifts you a return to your greatest and most natural state of self-confidence and self-expression. Old hurts and woundings fade away, and self-doubt diminishes. You begin to remember and access the very best parts of yourself and to live in the world as the expression of these aspects of yourself, and with all of the wisdom gained from the long hard journey of life. A time of certainty, safety and security. A year where you reconnect with your authentic and best self and live as that energy in the world. A happy and successful year on all levels. ♥ Best Crystal – ORANGE CALCITE  ♥ Power Word – CENTERED ♥ Magical Healing Environment – Anywhere that supports your growing sense of self-worth. Clothes shops that reflect this new and integrated you. Libraries, courses, bookstores. Places for exercise and healing. The movies and theaters that play the shows you love. Music that uplifts and connects you. Social outings with friends and family who love you and support you. Online communities that help you to grow and thrive. Anywhere quirky that reflects your own personality and helps you find expression and connection.

4. Cute Snow Elves Gift  This is a year of the heart for you. 2017 is a year rich in love, connection, friendship and community. It’s a year to find your soulmate, or to heal and deepen an existing relationship. A year for the blessings of family. It’s a year for creating heartspace and sanctuary. If you’re happily on your own it’s a year for connecting with your own wise soul, with God or with a friend or pet who will truly care for and understand you. A year of emotional blessings and love. Best Crystal – ROSE QUARTZ   Power Word – CONNECTION  ♥ Magical Healing Environment – Time with loved ones. This could be a shared meal, time away together, phone calls or online connections. It’s time for yourself and time for your important relationships. Time to make your house a home. It’s time for your spiritual journey and for communion with Spirit, God or whatever else you know that guiding energy as.

5. Sweet Somethings Gift This is your year for bravely sharing your talents and gifts with the world. A deeply creative year of flow and inspiration, and of finding the drive within you to churn out the work from a place of passion rather than of duty or fear. A fantastic year for becoming more openly and authentically you, and for being accepted and loved for who you are. A wonderfully productive year, accompanied by great ideas and clear direction.  Best Crystal – RAINBOW FLUORITE   Power Word – AUTHENTIC  Magical Healing Environment – Time spent in the company of books and stories This could be e-books, audio books or paper books. It could be movies or music. Let stories move you, inspire you, teach you and guide you in the year ahead. Filling yourself up with the stories of others will help your own story to positively shape and flow.

6. Precious Hearts Gift  This gift restores your Inner Child’s sense of wonder, gratitude and curiosity. The year ahead will be hallmarked by opportunities for joy, pleasure and fun. There is a return to light-heartedness and optimism after years of worry. Things will simply become easier in your life. Your attitude and vibration will lift. Positive people and opportunities will be drawn to you. Things in your life will work out well.  ♥ Best Crystal – CITRINE   Power Word – GRATITUDE  Magical Healing Environment – Adventures, outings and exploring.  Wander the markets, go on a road trip, plan some travel, eat out at new places, catch a bus or a train to a new part of town, lose yourself in a book or a movie, go camping or for hikes in nature. Bust clouds and watch the stars come out at night.

7.  Simple Red Wrapping Gift  This year is transformational for you. A great year for all forms of learning and study, and for self-development. A year to deepen wisdom, and to expand your mind. A year to master skills. A year for philosophy and deep thinking. A year to truly understand who you are and why you are here. A year where you will find a deep sense of inner peace and compassion for self and others.  Best Crystal – AMETHYST  Power Word – WISDOM   Magical Healing Environment – Time for thinking, studying and learning.  Libraries, online courses, universities and schools, mastermind groups, workshops and conferences will work well for you this year. Setting up a study or writing space at home will be useful. Find time for long walks in nature, and for meditation too.

8. Golden Gift This is a year of spiritual growth and evolution for you. A year for stepping into a highly intuitive place of flow and connection. A healing space of oneness with all. It’s a year for profound insights, connection to Spirit and an awakening of your deepest psychic and intuitive abilities. This is a powerful time for healing for you right now. A time to get your body, mind and spirit back in balance. A time of drawing inwards for a while, in order to emerge renewed, healed, empowered and reinvigorated. It’s a year for guidance, healing and breakthroughs that will positively and permanently alter the course of your life.  Best Crystal – LABRADORITE   Power Word – EVOLUTION  Magical Healing Environment – Quiet time to connect you to Self and God (or whatever you call source energy) Journalling, meditation, working with oracle and tarot cards, prayer and self-reflection. Time in sacred places. Time in the majesty of nature. Time with Elders and Spiritual Teachers and Leaders. Time for study. Time to connect with your Guides, Angels, Ancestors and God.

My Friendship Garden

Angela's hydrangea

“If I had a flower for every time I thought of you…I could walk through my garden forever.”
~ Alfred Tennyson

 

I cut some hydrangea flowers this week, and placed them in a glass by my kitchen sink. They’re Angela’s hydrangeas, or at least that’s how I think of them. They have grown from cuttings taken from her garden, and she helped me to press the woody cut stems into the pots where they now flourish. Angela passed away last year, but the plants she gifted me anchor her memory and energy at my home.

So much of my garden has come from friends. It’s something I learned from my Nana. She had a friendship garden and now I do too.

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I have hippeastrums from Shannon, who lives at the farm across the creek from us.

When the water is low we can walk across the creek at the shallowest part to share a cuppa at each other’s house. Hi, Shannon! 🙂

My herb garden has rosemary from a cutting I stole from a bush beside the butcher shop at Forest Hill back when I was a student. Cuttings of that rosemary have travelled everywhere with me, ever since.There’s also lemon-scented thyme from Sue, one of my students who knows I love cooking, and Thai basil from Tili the waitress at a favourite restaurant in Brisbane.

 

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I have a red rose from Agnes, an old lady at the CWA who couldn’t believe that I didn’t know roses would grow from cuttings.

They do!

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There are bromeliads – from Nana, from Vynette’s mum Leanna, and from my friend Lynda’s grandparents. They make wonderful homes for small frogs and I love their unusual flowers.

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And I have a gorgeous spreading soft-leaved groundcover with white flowers from my friend Marlene. I have no idea what it is called, but I am reminded of her every time I see it.

I’ll tell her how much I love it when I meet her for coffee this morning!

I can thoroughly recommend having a friendship garden. It’s one of the most meaningful blessings in my life. ❤

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The Very Valid ‘Not Coping’ Style of Coping

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Image by Lauren O’Neill. You can view her work here: www.laurenipsum.ie/projects

“It’s funny: I always imagined when I was a kid that adults had some kind of inner toolbox full of shiny tools: the saw of discernment, the hammer of wisdom, the sandpaper of patience. But then when I grew up I found that life handed you these rusty bent old tools – friendships, prayer, conscience, honesty – and said ‘do the best you can with these, they will have to do’. And mostly, against all odds, they do.”  ~ Anne Lamott

 

Hi. Lovelies.

Gee. It’s been one of those weeks.

So, I was sitting in my lounge room yesterday morning, crying. Not blogging.

Crying because I was in agony. Crying because all I wanted to do was pee and when I did it felt like I was pissing razorblades. Crying because everything hurt. Because I was herxing from the antibiotics for my urinary tract and assorted other infections, and these same antibiotics were playing havoc with my Lyme bacterial load. Because of constipation from the pain meds. Because my stomach was so grossly bloated that none of my clothes fit. Because I’d been vomiting from pressure on my stomach from my wildly overgrown fibroids. Because I’d begun to be attacked by Gorn, after two years Gorn-free and hadn’t slept all night.

Crying because of constantly leaking urine like one of those dodgy teapots that always dribble from the spout when you pour.

Crying because it was only three more days until surgery, and instead of dreading it, now it couldn’t come soon enough.

Everything was hard. I was exhausted. Broken. Pain-wracked.

Miserable.

I’d wanted to blog but my brain was empty. I’d thought to maybe do a little work, but I could scarcely sit upright. All my plans were out the window. It was all just mess.

“I’m not coping,” I sobbed to the empty room. “Not coping!”

“NOT COPING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” I screamed that one.

After which I cried some more.

As I calmed down from heaving sobs to simple snivelling, I realised something quite profound.

It wasn’t true.

I AM coping. Not very well, and certainly not with any great elegance or panache. It’s fair to say that I am just limping along right now – held together with duct tape, spit, snot, drugs, meditation, cobwebs and sighs.

Is that coping? Well, I’m still alive. I’m making it through the day. I’m hanging on. When I thought I was at the end of my rope, after a while I saw that the rope was longer.

So I stopped snivelling, wiped my face and laughed at myself. Kind laughing, mind you. The sort where I patted myself on the back comfortingly, seeing myself as an overtired and distressed child. I was flooded with compassion for myself. It’s a completely shit space I’m in, and it’s totally okay if my style of coping is a not-coping style right now.

I want to let you know that it’s okay for you too – if you sometimes find yourself in a not-coping/coping kind of a space. Life is messy and hard and unpredictable. Sometimes we ride the crest of the wave, high on life. Sometimes we are deep beneath the suck and pull of a massive tsunami.

I’m not alone, I reminded myself. I prayed to my loved ones who’ve crossed over to look out for me, and I called on all of my Guides and Angels and God to look after me and my husband and all of our family and friends. (That’s you too, of course!)

Then I went and made myself a cup of tea.

 

Later that same morning, my kind friends Bek and Lizzie popped round for an hour. They brought pre-birthday treats and balloons, and we had a sharing of troubles and laughter.

The balloons themselves had a special message for me. Yesterday would have been my beloved Nana’s 101st birthday. Not only that, each year when I was little, Pa would give me a special balloon as one of my presents. A marbled one of pinks and blues and whites, in an era where most balloons were just one colour. Nana would always have sticky bun, as well as cupcakes with pink icing for me.

My friend Lizzie brought me some of those same balloons Pa used to give me. Bek brought me cupcakes and sticky bun. Coincidence much?

cool party candles

Check out how cool those candles are. The flame is the same colour as the candle!

“If you can’t laugh when things go bad–laugh and put on a little carnival–then you’re either dead or wishing you were.”
~ Stephen King

balloons and cake

Yeah, I know. Those balloons look like weird inflatable boobs. Did I mention it’s been one of those weeks?

I was in pain and my body felt like it had been hit by a truck the entire duration of their visit. But my soul was happy. My heart was full. And after they left I lay down and slept for a few blissful hours, feeling my grandparents watching over me.

If not-coping coping is the best you can do, then that’s enough. And remember, you’re never alone. Reach out to your loved ones, to the Angels, to your friends and family.

I’m thinking of you, and sending love,

Nicole ❤ xx

 

 

Song of the Sisterhood

Image from www.new.vk.com

Image from www.new.vk.com

“A sister is a gift to the heart, a friend to the spirit, a golden thread to the meaning of life.”
~ Isadora James

 

 

These past few days have been hard. It’s been one thing after another. Then there’s the pain. It’s unrelenting. Drugs have helped take the edge off but it’s ground me down. The pain, and the worry.

Sleep is eluding me. I’m so tired but I’m wired too. I can’t get comfortable. My body throbs and hums and stabs and aches. Late at night my head gets crowded with the wrong kinds of thoughts.

I’m trying to keep a positive outlook. After thirty years of poor health I’ve become an expert at downplaying everything. At diverting attention away from myself. At convincing others that it’s all good. Especially when it’s not.

If Ben asks me, I tell him I’m fine. Just a bit sore and tired. We smile at each other and hug a lot. Sometimes we catch each other’s eye and shake our heads because… fuck… we can’t seem to take a trick. So much stuff seems to have been going wrong all at once, after it had all been going so right. But that’s life sometimes, hey?

I’m okay, I tell my mum. I tell Dad the same.

I tell my sister I am a little worried, but okay.

Okay. Okay. Okay.

And I am. Honestly.

 

Yesterday I met a group of dear friends for a birthday lunch. We celebrated, and ate gorgeous food, and laughed and talked about all manner of interesting things.

I’d thought I’d gotten away with it. Not talking about myself.

But after our meal had been cleared away and all the presents opened, the birthday girl leaned across the table and fixed her steady eyes on me.

“So, Nic,” she said. “What’s going on with you? With your health? We’re your friends. We need to know.”

I couldn’t keep the stupid tears from overflowing my eyes. And I told them. I told them everything. Not just the facts, but the fears too.

My dear friends listened as I gave up all my pain and terror. They hugged me and patted my arms and held my hands and passed me tissues.

Then we traded stories. We held space for each other and the messiness and uncertainties of life. We worried for each other, and we cared.

 

Afterwards I felt so much better. So much lighter.

I hadn’t realised what a burden it was to be lugging all of that around on my own.

 

It’s true, you know. I’m okay and I’ll be okay. I really mean it.

Besides, something beautiful happened yesterday.

I was lifted up by angels.

 

Feeling blessed to have such wonderful friends in my life. ❤ xoxo